Acting for the climate
The fight against climate change is a global challenge that requires a commitment from government institutions, companies, financial investors and, more generally, the whole of society.
Tackling climate change necessarily requires a reduction in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
To achieve the goal of limiting the global average temperature increase to within 1.5 °C, as defined in the Paris Agreement, global carbon emissions would have to reach what experts call «Net Zero» around mid-century. That is, the balance between the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activities and the amount removed from the atmosphere: that is, balancing the residual emissions, which are considered unavoidable, with an equivalent absorption.
In this context, the real estate sector plays a key role in the transition to a low-carbon economy and in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Indeed, as is well known, the real estate sector is one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, due to the large amount of energy required to build, heat, cool and light buildings.
Within this framework, Prelios SGR adopted its Net-zero carbon roadmap as a first step to contribute to the fight against climate change.
The Net Zero Carbon Roadmap
Climate change is now one of the main risks in the real estate sector, and Prelios SGR has developed an approach that addresses both direct and indirect impacts.
The "Specific guidelines for the so-called Net-zero carbon roadmap" approved by the Prelios SGR Board of Directors, formalise the Company's commitment to contribute to the fight against climate change, through the adoption of an operational roadmap for monitoring emissions. The roadmap provides for:
- greenhouse gas or 'GHG' emissions considerations (scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3);
- with reference to the management of the real estate component, identification of 7 key performance indicators ('Net-zero KPIs') to be monitored.
GHG emissions considerations
Together with the Prelios Group, Prelios SGR started in 2022 to monitor its direct and indirect GHG emissions (Scope 1, 2, 3), along the entire value chain, expressed in tonnes of CO2 equivalent and calculated on the basis of models in line with reference standards. GHG emissions, according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP) classification, include:
- Scope 1: direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the organisation. Including combustion processes, refrigerant gas leaks, transport by means owned by the organisation;
- Scope 2: these are the indirect emissions from the production of electricity, heat or steam imported and consumed by the organisation;
- Scope 3: these are the other indirect emissions from corporate activities. This category includes emission sources that are not under direct corporate control, but whose emissions are indirectly due to corporate activity.
Possible actions to reduce GHG emissions
Prelios SGR, in order to contain its GHG emissions, considers several measures, including:
- a comprehensive environmental management system in line with best practice;
- awareness-raising workshops for relevant stakeholders in the value chain;
- selection and monitoring of suppliers also in relation to environmental issues;
- energy efficiency of buildings under management;
- progressive electrification of the company car fleet;
- corporate welfare for sustainable employee travel;
- possible offsetting of CO2 emissions.
With regard to managed real estate assets, Prelios SGR's strategic objective is to reduce the carbon footprint of its portfolio.
Prelios SGR's action is guided by the development of an operational roadmap based on three guidelines:
- low carbon: reduction of carbon emissions through energy efficiency and reduction of polluting sources and exposure to fossil fuels;
- biodiversity: protection of biodiversity for green spaces, natural light, water, flora and fauna;
- circular economy: waste minimisation, material and component selection and waste management, with the aim of promoting the circular economy.
The guidelines are declined into seven key performance indicators ('Net-Zero KPIs'), which are monitored at least annually by the Asset & Development Management function with the coordination of the Fund Management function. The results of the monitoring are collected by the Chief Sustainable Officer and brought to the attention of the Sustainable Finance Committee.
Prelios SGR acts in the knowledge that sustainability and ESG aspects are, alongside traditional elements such as location, tenant, size and quality of the building, key factors in the value creation and performance of real estate, and that this relevance is destined to increase over time. For these reasons, it develops an ongoing collaborative dialogue with its investors to identify the best solutions that can be implemented at the level of the individual managed portfolio.